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Mortdecai

Not only is it a one-joke characterization, the joke is on the level of a below-average knock-knock joke.

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Son of a Gun

Avery’s more than capable behind the camera, he just needs to be met halfway by his screenwriting, which dwells in overly familiar territory.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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"Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." ~ Dr. Johnson

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My blog entry I met a character from Dickens stirred up nostalgia for London even among some who have never been there.

The great city lives in our imaginations like no other, perhaps because of the writers who have so memorably populated it for us:

Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, William Makepeace Thackery, George Gissing, Wilkie Collins, Henry James, Arthur Conan Doyle, Compton Mackinzie, Virginia Woolf, Anthony Powell, Iris Murdoch. And then Shakespeare and the incomparable Johnson and his Boswell.

If the physical city is burned, bombed, bulldozed and stripped of the past through urban renewal, the London of our imaginations endures rich and full. RE

Blackfriar's Bridge in 1896

Petticoat Lane in 1903

A rather amazing and nearly crystal-clear color motion picture of London in 1927.

A magic camera's futuristic visions on London in 1924

The Blitz, 1941

The victory celebrations of 1945

"Of all the seats in all theaters in the world, the best seat is at the front of the top of a London omnibus." -- Henry James

Driving the A13

A cruise on the Thames, 1983

The haunted London Underground

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: 21 October 1772 - 25 July 1834 Tom O'Bedlam reminds me that it was Coleridge who coined the phrase "the willing suspension of disbelief." What follows is a 1977 experimental film by Larry Jordan, using animated engravings of Gustave Dore with Orson Welles reading the Coleridge poem. Then there is Tom O'Bedlam reading "Kubla Khan," and a charming video for an English class about the life of Coleridge. I end with a tribute to Welles. He and Coleridge would have enjoyed one another.

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